June 28, 2015

Joined: May 06, 2015

Posts: 4

Kudos: 17

Improvement 200 Points

Course EMPOWERgmat Online Course

Location Online

If you're considering taking a course for the GMAT, take EMPOWERgmat. I had a chance to feel around with the other courses, and EMPOWERgmat is AWESOME!

I underestimated the test at first. I ordered the GMAT Official Guide, and downloaded the official tests, and was foolhardy about how the GMAT was going to play out. I can tell you exactly why I felt that way too. I tried a few questions here and there and I got most of them right, so I naturally tried to extrapolate "I got this!". No, I didn't. I ate it, and wasted about 2 or 3 weeks doing unstructured practice questions out of the Official Guide, and my 2nd practice test score was almost exactly the same (490 and 500). It was so deflating.

I needed more structure. I signed up for the EMPOWERgmat and now I want to tell the whole world about it. AWESOME! If you're serious about beating the GMAT then you need to add that program to your arsenal now. My confidence grew right from the start. From the intro all the way up to the last lesson, you feel you've had a team of GMAT ninjas with you the whole way.

Final Score: 740 Q47 V45 IR6

General Things That Helped Me Improve On Quant
Quant was by far my biggest concern. I did okay in financial accounting in college, but that's about it for me for the last 5 years. I started out in the low 30s, so I needed a serious upgrade on quant. I followed the EMPOWERgmat program systematically, so I built up my math background and strategy concurrently. I also spent a lot of time investigating my mistakes and watching the explanation videos religiously. I shed stupid old habits like getting caught up on a question for 7 minutes, and was instead saved by triage. I learned that in many questions, algebra is for suckers and that the test it tactic is so much faster.

General Things That Helped Me Crush Verbal
Here are the things that I worked on methodically to crush GMAT Verbal:
- Not skimming. I've read about some people who advocate reading certain sections of a passage, or getting too hung up on keywords. I think that's dumb. There are way too many questions you just couldn't answer if you skim. I paid crazy attention to everything I read. I pretended that the clock wasn't even running when I read, even during the real test. The surprising thing is that although it felt like I was moving slower, my pacing was actually a little bit better because I was able to cut out a lot of re-reading. Most importantly, the amount of interest that I put into the prompts and passages felt really good. There's a certain sense of comprehension that I know if I can get, I'm going to nail the question and the more I’m interested, the more I feel like I can grasp the material.
- I also think it's important to use all of your time, and resist the urge to try to finish early, and invest it in the right places.
- With RC and CR I had a bit of an odd situation because I prepped a little for the LSAT when I was in college. Since I still had those books, they gave me some extra practice, but LSAT CR and RC are noticeably harder than GMAT CR and RC and there were a lot of things I saw in the LSAT materials that never showed up in my GMAT practice (and not on the GMAT either). I went from 31 to consistently 42 or better consistently on my practice CATs, and even as high as 45 on Exam Pack 1. I’d say that was really due to using the right tactics tough. The CR box, and RC ladder helped to make CR and RC really easy to manage.
- You want to get to a point where you know exactly what each type of CR and RC question wants you to do, and that you know the patterns of the wrong answers. At first it might seem like a blur, but you want to get to a point that you just know what kind of information you're looking for.
- You have to know your SC errors cold and you know how to identify each one from the answers and the original sentence itself.

If you take EMPOWER, you'll crush the GMAT too. You'd have to try not to. I can't say enough good things.

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